Whether you’ve just started a programme of study in higher education, you’re thinking about it, or if you’ve been at your studies for a while, you should find this book a useful tool to help you manage many of the challenges and activities that you face as a student. This book is divided into a series of 100 short sections, each identifying a different strategy, technique or insight to help you get through college with pleasure and success. Many of the ideas will help to focus your mind on specific tasks, and many others will provide encouragement to you at times when your motivation or self-belief is flagging. We have tried to highlight issues and tactics that will be practically helpful and emotionally stabilizing, especially during the early, uncertain weeks of university life.
‘How to be a student’ can act as a companion to your study, learning and survival at college, providing a series of reminders about how best to tackle the challenges of learning. It will explore many of the different ways in which you can benefit from higher educational opportunities. We hope this book will help you simply by reminding you to develop positive, practical and philosophical attitudes towards being at college or university. We adopt a holistic approach to helping you adjust to higher education, actively reflecting the fact that student concerns and obstacles relate to all aspects of your life, not just your ability to study and learn. We hope that in the following pages you will find a continuous backdrop of ideas and heartening encouragement that you will be able to turn to and revisit regularly during the course of your studies.
We have provided a loose structure to the ideas contained in this book (although you can still use it by dipping into different sections randomly if you wish). First, we highlight important issues that you’ll face and should start thinking about in the first few weeks of college life (Sections 1–30). Second, we focus on some easy ways for you to develop skills and self-awareness in a higher educational context (Sections 31–46). Third, we explore some of the ways in which you might work on building your confidence and increasing your motivation as challenges burgeon and work becomes tougher (Sections 47–69). Finally, we encourage you to look at a range of ways in which you can persist with and enhance your college experience both for yourself and those around you (Sections 70–100).
In formulating the following 100 ideas, tips and strategies, we have relied on the insightful reflections of a wide range of students and their teachers and we have tapped into a range of strategies that successful students have